“I want to be able to do malaria testing in the village”
Buatong Monkachasarn, work as Village Health Volunteer (VHV) and Migrant Health Volunteer (MHV) in Huay Kob of Sangklaburi district. She has been working as MHV, taking care of villagers’ health and wellness for years. Currently she supports ALIGHT Kanchanaburi team for malaria activities specific to migrant and ethinic community. Buatong is unable to do malaria test and treatment but she refers all the suspected cases to the nearest health facilities.
“I received training from the ALIGHT team about malaria services. The training was focused on malaria information such as symptoms, how to prevent malaria, malaria patient treatment, and care, and also on the process for referring patients to the health care system. We work in the community to coordinate between the patients, local health authorities, and ALIGHT. This training helps me to enhance my knowledge and skills to provide malaria services.”
Most of the communities she serves are non-Thai, the majority are Mon ethnic followed by Burmese and Karen. Buathong travels to the villages and farms (rubber plantations) with IEC materials for malaria awareness-raising and educational activities, LLINs distribution, and COVID-19 prevention.
Even though Huay Kob area is on the mainland, it is surrounded by forest and rubber fields near the Thailand and Myanmar border. The nearest Health Promotion Hospital (HPH) is at least 30 minutes away by car. Traveling to HPH is the main challenge for communities and volunteers to receive health services in a timely manner.
“We send our patients across the town to another village for malaria diagnosis, to improve our work and services. I would like to be able to conduct the blood testing in our village.”